Saturday, April 23, 2005

Chapter 28: Confrontation

Martha met Lex outside of the hospital’s entrance.

“Has something… changed?” Lex asked urgently surprised to find her waiting for him.

“Only his mood,” Martha grimaced.

“What’s wrong?”

“He won’t say it,” Martha began, “or much of anything else, really… but he’s hurt and angry that we told you. I imagine he feels like we’ve betrayed his trust.”

“No, I sure he doesn’t,” Lex assured her.

“No, Lex he is, and he has the right to be. We thought we were protecting him. You don’t know how narrow-minded that even some of Smallville’s best citizens can be.”

Again remembering his shock of finding Clark strung up as the Smallville High Scarecrow, Lex stopped to consider the event’s probable impact on Clark’s ability to confide in anyone. Lex was firmly convinced that violent tendencies were learned traits, and if Smallville’s teens were capable of such an extreme response to mild social differences—what their parents were be capable of when faced with someone who might carry yet another of the potentially unknown meteor-born mutations… was a legitimate concern.

“You did what was necessary then and now, give him time and he’ll realize that.” Lex assured her.

“I know,” Martha smiled warmly at his assurances, “but… I wanted to give you some advanced notice…” Martha hesitated slightly noticing Lex’s wryly lifted brow, before continuing, “I don’t know why, but he seems to be upset with you, too.”

Lex stopped to consider the possible reasons, but few immediately occurred.

“I don’t know why either, Ms. Kent, but the easiest way to find that out is to ask.”

Martha flashed Lex a doubtful look and said, “Lex, Clark is so used to keeping such a tight lid on… everything…” even as Martha broke off, Lex caught the drift of her comment and the admission behind it: she was afraid that Clark didn’t our couldn’t acknowledge what was going on beneath the fragile shell of normalcy that was giving way, and she blamed that on her and Jonathon’s overprotective manner.

Lex gave the situation several minutes thought then shrugged.

“There’s only one way to find out.” Wrapping Martha’s hand over his forearm, Lex continued through the hospital entry.

Jonathon was waiting for them outside Clark’s room and drew Martha into his shoulder as they reached him—commenting “I think you should have a few minutes alone.”

From Jonathon’s flushed face, Lex could tell that he had tried to get through to Clark and failed. Lex nodded, gripped Jonathon’s shoulder in reassurance, and opened the door.

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